Luggage: Happiness (Husky Pants, 2021)

July 27, 2021 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Luggage: Happiness

Chicago’s Luggage play the type of brooding, stripped down indie rock that was all over college radio in the ’90s but was too stark, imposing, and unconventional to appeal to a more widespread audience. These are relatively short songs, but they carry a lot of weight. Michael Vallera (also known as an experimental ambient composer) seems to stare you dead in the eye when he speaks his dread-filled lyrics. After the desolate slowcore of “Happiness”, “Lie Design: seems more upbeat, but then Vallera warns you “it’s going to get worse’. “Fear” has a tightly winding 3/4 rhythm, and “Idiot Bliss” has an insistent crashing riff that goes through the entire song, refusing to budge until it’s thoroughly made its point. “Wealth” is another uptempo one that seems to be intended to make you run with fear rather than dance. The entire EP is just 19 minutes of bleak energy.

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